Spotlight on Military Child of the Year Recipients

April 2, 2024

Episode 314

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In our latest episode, we shine a light on the exceptional lives of military children who have been recognized as the 2024 Military Child of the Year recipients from the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard families. Join us as Charlotte, Isabella, and Lindsay share their heartfelt stories of resilience, adventure, and gratitude that come with growing up in military families.

This podcast is made possible by generous funding from the Hurlburt Spouses’ Club. To learn more, visit

Audio mixing by Concentus Media, Inc., Temple, Texas.

Show Notes:


Operation Homefront

Military Child of the Year Award Recipients


Charlotte is Operation Homefront’s 2024 Military Child of the Year for the Coast Guard.

Charlotte, 18, is a high school senior in Washington, D.C., where she resides with her parents, Sarah and U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jason Tama, and her 16-year-old sister.

Charlotte views military life as a series of adventures, having participated in unique experiences such as marching with Coasties in the New York City Veterans Day parade and viewing Fourth of July fireworks from the deck of a Coast Guard ship in New York Harbor. During her father’s career, Charlotte has experienced six permanent change of station moves, which have taught her the importance of diving into new situations with confidence.

Charlotte believes that engaging in school, sports, extracurricular activities, community service, and faith-based groups is crucial for making connections and feeling at home in new places. “Getting involved…will help you form connections in your new community and make a new place feel more like home,” she said.

Isabella is Operation Homefront’s 2024 Military Child of the Year® for the Marine Corps.

The 17-year-old senior resides in Temecula, California, volunteers with a local peer court program that offers juveniles a hands-on understanding of the judicial system, including roles from juror to attorney. She also cultivates her knowledge of the law through her school's Mock Trial team and an internship at a local law firm.

Isabella is the daughter of Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Arrieta, an aircraft mechanic instructor with the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit North Island, and Denise Arrieta, who works as an alternative education clerk. Isabella has a 12-year-old sister.

One of her most cherished memories is of pinning her father’s uniform during his last promotion ceremony, a moment that underscored the pride she feels for her family’s military service and the sacrifices that come with it.

“I was so proud to be his daughter,” Isabella recalled. She equally admires her mother for her role in supporting the family through financial challenges and periods of separation due to her father’s deployments. Isabella credits her mother’s strength and resilience for forming the foundation of her own character and achievements.

Lindsay is Operation Homefront’s 2024 Military Child of the Year® for the Navy.

Lindsay, 18, is the daughter of Navy veterans Shaun and Keri Carstairs. Shaun retired as a captain after a distinguished career of 25 years, and Keri served for 13 years, achieving the rank of commander before her honorable discharge in 2011. Both parents have medical backgrounds, with Shaun working as an emergency physician, and Keri as a pediatric emergency physician and healthcare executive. Lindsay has an older brother, Ian.

Despite her parents’ medical expertise, the diagnosis of Jeavons Syndrome when Lindsay was 8 years old presented significant challenges. The disease was difficult to control. Epilepsy was not just a physical hardship for Lindsay but also a mental and emotional challenge. She worried about what her classmates would think of her each time an ambulance came to the school because of her seizures.

Lindsay’s early adversities inspired her to co-found a local International Children's Advisory Network (iCAN) chapter at Rady Children’s Hospital, where she was a patient.  “I am proud to have started (a chapter) for my community,” Lindsay said. “I dedicated many hours to establishing our chapter. I learned to stay organized and improved my public speaking skills while talking to peers about iCAN and at advocacy events.”

Full biographies can be found at

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